This is the text of a press release from women defy ukip
Is UKIP imploding – and why does it blame us?
We have recently been on the receiving end of a massive trolling attack on our Facebook page Women Against Ukip. We are not quite clear what precipitated this. Post election, we have been chugging along quite quietly, a little uncertain of where we should go from here. It was a far cry from the manic weeks leading up to the election when we were collecting hundreds of likes every day.
Some very recent posts seem suddenly to have started a concentrated attack on the page, although they are not very different from what we have been doing all the time. One was a cartoon manufactured out of a press photo which highlighted the differences between Farage and Carswell. Another – which does seem to have been a definite trigger – highlighted ukip’s disastrous finances – one ukipper comment in response, received yesterday ran thus:
What a bunch of pricks you all R the women on here look like pIgs in knickers. And the rest look like they need a fkn face plant what a bunch of ugly women all Together.
This is fairly typical of what we have had to put up with since our inception, but we have tried to allow free speech on the page. This abuse makes it very hard. We come from a wide range of ages and political views, and it is not pleasant to be addressed as traitors, communists, witches , pigs, etc.
We also put up posts about the Austerity March, and about the Gay Pride March. Suddenly, over the last two or three days, we were inundated with trolls, many making threatening and offensive remarks of the type you see above. Some appear to be fake or cloned accounts. We had no option but to ban people doing this. Some pretend to be women but , from their general tone, we are pretty certain are no such thing.
You would think that Facebook would protect us – instead, it allows organisations like Britain First to continue. It was us who were threatened with removal. All the admins had to log in from our personal accounts and all were encouraged to unpublish the page. We all refused. It does seem to me that it is high time that some enterprising journalist took a look at just what organisation is running Facebook. It appears to condone extreme right-wing views, deeming that these organisations and trolls have not infringed what they call community standards, while anyone opposing them is frequently treated in this way. FB does not allow us to respond, and never investigates if these accounts are genuine.
We asked ourselves two main questions. Was this an organised trolling attack or was it just ukippers and Britain First jumping on the bandwagon? So I put up that I was preparing a press release, so that national papers would know what was going on. It abruptly stopped. One comment went up just saying ‘Press release?’ to which I replied that yes, from time to time I sent these off. We have had no trolling since. Someone appears to have told them to stop. I have to say that this is frankly more alarming than if it was not organised.
But we also wondered why this had happened. We now have some contacts within ukip and with disenchanted ukippers. From what I can gather, UKIP is frightened of us, but blames us for their failure to make an impact. One can only deduce that ukip is imploding, and in doing so, is looking around for someone to blame.
We are what we say we are on the page – just a group of women who met on social media and, in a moment of madness, thought we, as women, would stand up against ukip. Over 21,000 likes on, we appear, despite ourselves, to have become a major force in the fight against ukip. But we do not have the resources to find out exactly what is happening within the party. You do. We hope you will take up the baton.